December 07, 2023

Calendar: Nasty, Naughty, and Simply Annoying Plants

MONTICELLO, Ill. — The program Nasty, Naughty, and Simply Annoying Plants will be noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Piatt County Extension office, 210 S. Market St., Monticello.

Nasty plants can be found everywhere, including indoors. Whether they sting, poke, irritate skin, or have other poisonous tendencies, some plants need special care when handling. Learn how to use and live among these plants safely. Plants covered include poison ivy, nettles, snakeroot, and more.

Register for this free program at

The program will be repeated noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 23 at DeWitt County Extension office, 8425 Katie Drive, Clinton. Register at

Empowering Girls Event

RENSSELAER, Ind. — Rotary Club of Rensselaer and Purdue Extension Jasper County are joining forces once again for the Empowering Girls Event. This event for girls ages 11-18 will be 1 to 3 p.m. CT Feb. 18 at the Jasper County Fairgrounds, 2671 W. Clark St., Rensselaer.

This year’s theme is “Let Your Fears Make You Fierce.” Speakers will be award-winning children’s book author Shannon Anderson, and local teacher Leia Pinkerman. Participants will engage in different activities such as painting, getting manicures, and making jewelry.

Cost is $5. Register at For questions, call Carmen Fortney at 219-866-5741 or Terri Phegley at 219-863-2206.

Ag Women Engage Conference

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — The Ag Women Engage Conference will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Feb. 21-23 at the Terre Haute Convention Center, 800 Wabash Ave., Terre Haute.

The conference objectives are:

* To define the woman’s role in making the family farm profitable.

* To strengthen the role of a woman as she deals with the emotional well being of the farm family.

* To build a network of support among women in agriculture.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Brenda Mack and there will be 20 educational topics in five sessions. The cost is $125 for Feb. 22-23, with an additional $50 fee for the pre-conference on Feb. 21. To register and for more information, visit

Young ladies in grades 8-12 or college are invited to participate in the 2023 Young Ladies in Agriculture Forum from 1 to 8 p.m. Feb. 23 to explore and engage with others while learning about financial strategies, marketing yourself, and building a strong résumé. Cost is $20. Register at

Seedling Success

CARLINVILLE, Ill. — The program Success with Seedlings will be 2 to 3 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Macoupin County Extension office, 60 Carlinville Plaza, Carlinville.

It’s time to get a head start on the upcoming garden season by starting seedlings indoors. Growing quality seedlings requires proper planning for adequate conditions to start seedlings off right. Join University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Andrew Holsinger as he presents various techniques for starting seeds indoors.

The program also will be offered online. Register at

Air Frying

TAYLORVILLE, Ill. — The program Cooking for the Heart: Air Frying will be 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 21 at Taylorville Memorial Hospital, 201 E. Pleasant St., Taylorville.

Have an air fryer and are unsure how to use it? Have you thought about purchasing one but are not sure about the benefits? February is heart health month and a great time to learn how to cook heart-smart using this modern kitchen appliance.

Join Extension and Taylorville Memorial Hospital for this hands-on class, where participants will use different models of air fryers and learn how to prepare healthy meals quickly and efficiently. Participants will walk away with increased knowledge about cooking food safely in an air fryer, preparing heart-healthy meals, and receive tasty recipes! Participants will get to make various foods using an air fryer and go around and taste-test different recipes other participants make.

This class is offered at no cost, but registration is required by visiting

Tree Fruit

BELVIDERE, Ill. — The program Grow Your Own Backyard Tree Fruit will be 6 to 7 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Ida Public Library — Belvidere, 320 N. State St., Belvidere.

Learn the basics of backyard tree fruits and how selection, training, and pruning are key factors for success.

This is part of the winter free programs offered through Illinois Extension Master Gardeners of Boone County. Registration is encouraged by calling Ida Public Library at 815-544-3838.

Air Drying Hardwood

LOGANSPORT, Ind. — The program Air Drying Hardwood will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET Feb. 22 at Cole Hardwoods, 1611 W. Market St., Logansport.

Experts will discuss moisture content of wood, why drying is necessary, and various ways in which to dry lumber. Also, review principles of setting up a quality air-drying yard, proper lumber stacking, and basics of wood preservation.

This workshop is part of the Hardwood University program. To register and for more information, visit the Indiana Hardwood Lumber Association website at

Urban Farming

INDIANAPOLIS — The Urban Farming Signature Program will be from 6 to 9 p.m. ET on six consecutive Wednesdays, Feb. 22 through March 29, at the Marion County Extension office, Discovery Hall, Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 E. 38th St., Suite 201, Indianapolis.

This program is designed to familiarize participants with the fundamental practices of urban farming, including soil health, sustainable growing practices, pest management, food safety and more. It also allows local growers to connect with other local growers and to share experiences.

Cost is $75. Register at

IPT Bull Sale

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The 2023 Illinois Performance Tested Bull Sale will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds, 801 Sangamon Ave., Springfield.

The Illinois Performance Tested Bull Sale has been a leader in introducing Illinois seedstock breeders and commercial cow-calf producers to the latest evaluation technologies and practices. The sale has offered some of the best genetics based on performance standards utilized by the beef industry. During the past 54 years, 4,905 bulls have sold for over $9 million.

For more information, visit

Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo

INDIANAPOLIS — The 25th annual Indiana Deer, Turkey and Waterfowl Expo will be Feb. 23-26 at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, 1202 E. 38th St., Indianapolis.

Hours are noon to 7 p.m. ET Feb. 23, noon to 8 p.m. Feb. 24, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Feb. 25, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 26.

Featured will be equipment manufacturers, retailers and demonstration lanes. New this year is Archery Alley.

For more information, visit

Strategies for Estate Planning

SPENCER, Ind. — The program Strategies for Estate Planning will be at 6:30 p.m. ET Feb. 23 at the Owen County Extension office, 180 S. Washington St., Spencer.

Are you wondering where to begin when it comes to estate planning? If so, you’re not alone. Learn more about estate planning goals, the difference between wills and trusts, advance directives and their importance, and organizing your important documents.

For more information and to register, contact Jamie Jo Lowder at 812-829-5020 or

Pruning and Grafting Workshop

LOWELL, Ind. — The Lowell Fruit Pruning and Grafting Workshop will be at 1 to 3 p.m. CT Feb. 24 at Buckley Homestead, 3606 Belshaw Road, Lowell.

Learn how to prune fruit trees to improve fruit production, and get hands-on experience in grafting fruit trees. The cost is $20 for grafting and includes materials. The educational portion of this program is free.

Register at

Gardening Insights

DECATUR, Ill. — Gardening Insights 2023 will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 25 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 1 Bachrach Ct., Decatur.

Join the Macon County master gardeners for a day of horticulture classes, hands-on activities, and an opportunity to shop vendors. There is something of interest for all gardeners — beginner to experienced.

Items will be available for purchase from a variety of vendors during the event. Lunch is included in the $35 admission.

For more information, visit

Day of Dabbling

OREGON, Ill. — The Ogle County 4-H Day of Dabbling will be 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 25 at Church of God, 860 W. Oregon Trail Road, Oregon.

Day of Dabbling is a day of hands-on learning and fun that will have participants doing, thinking and creating. More than 20 workshops will be available to choose from.

Cost is $10 for Ogle County 4-H members and $15 for nonmembers.

Register at

Winter Wellness Family Event

ROCK ISLAND, ill. — The Winter Wellness Family Event will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 25 at the Singing Bird Nature Center, 1510 46th Ave., Rock Island.

This event is a collaboration between University of Illinois Extension and Black Hawk State Historic Site. Visit a variety of interactive stations where you can learn about the environment, reducing food waste, and how to make your own green cleaning products. Dive into the importance of nutrition and heart health with Illinois Extension resources.

Enjoy a free cup of soup and hot cocoa and sit by the fire. Observe birds from the indoor bird viewing room. Spend time crafting with canvases, bird-house gourds, and rocks to paint and decorate.

There will be youth activity packets, interactive stations, and a fun indoor obstacle course by 4-H, Mercer County Ag Literacy, All Our Kids Early Childhood Network, and the Rock Island Public Library, which will also have their bookmobile at the event.

During the outdoor scavenger hunt, participants have a chance to win all of the ingredients to make a vegetable soup to take and make at home. Pick up a Scavenger Hunt Map, follow the clues in the park, and bring back your completed sheet for a chance to win a soup kit.

Joys of Gardening

FREEPORT, Ill. — The 25th annual Joys of Gardening will be 8:30 a.m. to noon Feb. 25 at the Highland Community College Student Conference Center, 2998 W. Pearl City Road, Freeport.

Presentation will include Native Plant Cultivars for Pollinators, Tree Pruning, Keep Your Soil Healthy, Planting Design, Houseplants, Hydrangeas, Plant and Pest Associations, and Growing Great Grapes.

Cost is $15. Register at

Weekend Gardener

EDWARSDVILLE, Ill. — The Weekend Gardener program will be 9 a.m. to noon Feb. 25 at the Madison County Farm Bureau, 900 Hillsboro Ave., Edwardsville.

This year’s topics will include Even Natives Can Misbehave, Designing Containers with Tropicals and Annuals, and Native Garden Design.

Cost is $20. Register at

Pork Chop Dinner and Basket Auction

CHRISNEY, Ind. — The annual Spencer County 4-H Pork Chop Dinner and Basket Auction will be Feb. 25 at the Spencer County Extension office, 1101 E County Rd 800 N, Chrisney.

Dine in or drive through for dinner, which begins at 5 p.m. CT. The menu includes pork chop, green beans, creek fries, roll and dessert. Dinner tickets are $12 in advance and can be purchased at the Extension office. The auction starts at 6 p.m. All money raised stays in the county and supports the local 4-H program.

For more information, call 812-362-8066.

Where Will You Garden?

URBANA, Ill. — The online program Where Will You Garden? will be 6 to 7 p.m. Feb. 28.

Build a garden using whatever space you have. Learn about traditional garden plots, raised beds, salad tables, container gardening, and growing vertically.

The program is part of the Growing Great Vegetables series.

Cost is $10. Register at

Success with Indoor Plants

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — The online program Success with Indoor Plants will be viewed in-person from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at the McLean County Extension office, 615 Commerce Pkwy., Bloomington.

After learning about houseplant care during the group viewing, learn the propagation-by-cutting technique and leave with new houseplants. Bring one or more houseplants that you are willing to propagate.

Cost is $5. Register at

To view the webinar at home, visit

Pruning Basics

NORMAL, Ill. — The program Pruning Basics will be 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 28 at The Refuge Food Forest, 701 E. Lincoln St., Normal.

When pruning at home, follow these pro tips for trimming ornamental or fruit trees:

• Start with the three D’s: Dead, Dying and Diseased.

• Always prune outside a branch collar for healthy healing.

• Sanitize tools between every tree pruned.

• Remove less than one-third of growth for healthy tree recovery.

Register at